Apple reveals 'iPhone 5' as name for new smartphone

Search of Apple's website shows the nameplate in a URL of an impending press release

Apple will apparently call its new smartphone the "iPhone 5," validating pundits' expectations, according to the company's website.

A search on apple.com using the string "iPhone-5" revealed several documents that named the new handset. One of the documents appeared to be a press release that Apple will issue later today.

The 9to5Mac.com blog first reported on the search results.

The search uncovered a URL for today's press release that included "2012/09/12Apple-Introduces- iPhone-5.html;" the document is not yet accessible, however.

"iPhone 5" has been the label most had assigned to this year's model. The naming prediction had been a repeat of 2011, when analysts, customers and bloggers eagerly awaited a new model. After its October 2011 introduction, some knocked Apple for using "iPhone 4S" instead as they vented their disappointment that it was not a more substantial upgrade from the previous year's iPhone 4.

Wall Street is expecting great things from the iPhone 5, with pre-sales estimates for the first three days -- likely to begin Friday -- as high as 6 million units, or 50% more than the iPhone 4S' opening weekend.

In a note to clients today, Brian Marshall of the ISI Group pegged fourth-quarter sales of all iPhones at 41 million, of which approximately 85%, or nearly 35 million, will be the iPhone 5.

If Marshall's projection is on target, the 41 million iPhones would represent an 11% gain over the same period in 2011, when Apple sold a record 37 million.

Apple will host an event in San Francisco today starting at 1 p.m Eastern to unveil the new smartphone.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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